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NEWS
July 29, 2013
As we approach the 48th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act, this historic civil rights legislation remains an essential protection against the discrimination that still threatens Americans' right to vote. Congress needs to move swiftly to restore the effectiveness of the VRA ("Voting rights ruling faces test," July 26). Now is the time to contact your member of Congress and tell him or her to repair the VRA before any more damage is done. In June, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a decision which gutted key components of the law. The decision in the case of Shelby County, Ala. v. Holder erased fundamental protections against racial discrimination in voting that have been effective for more than 40 years and opened the floodgates for a wave of attacks on voters.
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NEWS
By Frederick N. Rasmussen, The Baltimore Sun | July 19, 2014
Richard W. "Dick" Bourne, a colorful longtime University of Baltimore law professor who retired earlier this year, died July 12 of pancreatic cancer at his Pylesville farm. He was 71. "He was a wonderful colleague and one of those special men who told you what they thought with good will and a twinkle in their eye," said Robert L. Bogomolny, who recently retired as president of the University of Baltimore. "He retained Southern speech patterns and had extraordinarily good values, and cared deeply about his students and the school," said Dr. Bogomolny.
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NEWS
February 26, 2013
Much has changed in America since the Voting Rights Act of 1965 was first approved, and we can't blame those living in the 16 states that must get approval from the Justice Department or a federal court in order to revise their election laws for feeling the weight of history. The Deep South of the 21 s t century is not the same as the days of poll taxes, literacy tests and assassinated civil rights leaders. But how different is it today from seven years ago? That's when Congress last renewed one of this country's most important pieces of civil rights legislation - including the section that places this burden of proof on states with long histories of suppressing minority voters.
NEWS
By Julie Scharper, The Baltimore Sun | June 28, 2014
This was the promise: No longer would African-Americans be forced to pick up their meals from the back door of restaurants. No longer would they need to fear being unable to find lodgings on their way home from a trip. And no longer would those who denied them a seat in a theater or on a merry-go-round be able to cloak their prejudice with the law. President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act on July 2, 1964, the culmination of decades of struggle for racial equality.
NEWS
March 4, 2013
How fitting that after Republicans lost the popular vote in five of the last six presidential elections, plus lost the popular vote for Congress by over a million votes - and only hold on to their majority in the House by vigorous gerrymandering - the Supreme Court is poised to further erode our constitutional right to vote ("High court split clouds Voting Rights Act's fate," Feb.28). When has this activist court ever missed a chance to legislate losing right-wing Republican policies from the bench?
NEWS
Robert L. Ehrlich Jr | July 14, 2013
OK, the subject is race, so I'm going to ask the "haters" from both ends of the spectrum to step outside the chat room. You know who you are. Some of you were upset when I asked Michael Steele to run on my gubernatorial ticket in 2002. A few of you told me so quietly - the way white racism usually plays out today. (Those who chose to engage on this issue received a none-too-polite response; few decided to press the matter.) You were also the ones with the disapproving stares at Kendel Ehrlich when she appeared in public with one of our black executive protection state troopers.
NEWS
By JOHANNA NEUMAN and JOHANNA NEUMAN,LOS ANGELES TIMES | June 22, 2006
WASHINGTON -- The Voting Rights Act, which has protected minority voters from discrimination since its passage more than 40 years ago, appeared headed for an easy reaffirmation in the House yesterday - until conflicts old and new clouded its future. Amid wide bipartisan support - the House Judiciary Committee approved the measure last month by a 33-1 vote - House Republican leaders scheduled floor debate yesterday, hoping to use the bill's passage for an election-year outreach to minority voters.
NEWS
By EARL OFARI HUTCHINSON | July 20, 2006
NAACP officials did not uncork the champagne after the House voted to reauthorize the landmark 1965 Voting Rights Act. And there's good reason why: The law is not out of the legislative woods yet. The Senate still has to reauthorize it, and there's a core of doubting, wavering and even hostile senators that could waylay reauthorization. Their gripe is the same as that of House Republicans who stalled the legislation for more than a week. They say it punishes the South for past voting-discrimination sins, and they don't like the idea of bilingual ballots.
NEWS
By PETER WALLSTEN AND JOHANNA NEUMAN and PETER WALLSTEN AND JOHANNA NEUMAN,LOS ANGELES TIMES | July 12, 2006
WASHINGTON -- In an intensely competitive election year, this was supposed to be the issue virtually everyone in Congress could agree on: renewing civil rights-era laws protecting minorities' access to the ballot box. But on the cusp of a scheduled vote tomorrow that White House strategists and other top Republicans once hoped would symbolize a modern-day GOP eager to attract more blacks and Latinos, a group of increasingly vocal Capitol Hill conservatives is...
NEWS
By JEFF ZELENY and JEFF ZELENY,CHICAGO TRIBUNE | July 20, 2006
WASHINGTON -- One day before President Bush addresses the NAACP for the first time during his presidency, two Democratic senators urged yesterday that those attending the meeting to hold the administration accountable for renewing - and enforcing - the Voting Rights Act. Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York and Barack Obama of Illinois warned NAACP delegates to be cautious of any civil rights promises Bush offers when speaking to the group today. The senators criticized Republicans for allowing the landmark 1965 voting act to nearly expire and said the Justice Department has failed to aggressively pursue allegations of disenfranchisement.
NEWS
By Benjamin Todd Jealous | June 12, 2014
Early voting starts today in Maryland. As citizens across the state head to the ballot box, it is an appropriate time to reflect on everything that Maryland has done in the past few years to make it easier to vote, while so many other states around the country are making it harder.  The stakes for voting rights have never been higher. Last year, the Supreme Court struck down Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, accelerating efforts in at least 19 states to restrict the right to vote.
NEWS
March 6, 2014
On March 5, 1770, a group of British soldiers fired into an unruly crowd, killing five American civilians in an incident known as the Boston Massacre. Facing murder charges and potentially the death penalty, the soldiers had difficulty finding someone to defend them in court. John Adams agreed to represent them not because he sympathized with their circumstances but because he believed that they had a right to a legal defense. He succeeded, too, as six of the soldiers were acquitted and two convicted only of manslaughter.
NEWS
By John Fritze, The Baltimore Sun | September 9, 2013
The resignation of NAACP President Benjamin Jealous left the nation's most influential advocacy group for equality in search of a new leader at a particularly sensitive time in U.S. race relations, setting off a debate Monday about his potential successor. Jealous announced over the weekend that he will step down in December, sparking a flurry of analysis about his legacy and who could sustain his efforts to expand the group's reach, social media savvy and financial growth. The transition comes as the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, headquartered in Baltimore, is working to blunt the impact of the U.S. Supreme Court decision in June to invalidate a key provision of the 1965 Voting Rights Act. Emotions, meanwhile, are still smoldering from last year's shooting death of Trayvon Martin — a case that Jealous repeatedly sought to highlight as an example of injustice against African-Americans.
NEWS
By Jonathan Pitts, The Baltimore Sun | August 24, 2013
Half a century ago this Wednesday, as a bright sun climbed the sky above downtown Washington, Douglas B. Sands, then 29, stood a few hundred feet from the Lincoln Memorial and looked out over the National Mall in wonder. It was 8:30 in the morning on Aug. 28, 1963. The long-awaited March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom would not begin for 21/2 hours. People were flooding in by the thousands, gathering by the Reflecting Pool like members of an extended family assembling for a picnic.
NEWS
By Sherrilyn A. Ifill | August 21, 2013
Constance Baker Motley, the great civil rights lawyer with the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, was not planning to attend the now-famous civil rights March on Washington 50 years ago this month. She was exhausted. As one of Martin Luther King's lawyers during the Birmingham campaign, she had secured his and Ralph Abernathy's release from a squalid, scorching hot jail in Americus, Ga., where both men were detained while traveling to Alabama. Motley was among a cadre of civil rights attorneys who spent a great deal of time in county jails throughout the Deep South helping to release detained civil rights activists.
NEWS
August 5, 2013
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder was right to tell the National Urban League last month that despite a Supreme Court ruling in July striking down a key provision of the Voting Rights Act, the Justice Department will still seek to block Texas and other states from changing their voting laws in ways that limit minorities' access to the polls. The short-sighted action by the court's conservative majority threatens to turn back the clock for millions of black and Hispanic voters in states with a past history of discrimination and demands a vigorous response from the Justice Department to protect the right to cast a ballot.
NEWS
April 30, 2009
The Voting Rights Act of 1965 has been called the most effective piece of civil rights legislation in American history. Unlike the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964, which outlawed racial segregation in schools, public places and employment but granted Congress only limited powers of enforcement, the Voting Rights Act gave the federal government direct oversight of election procedures in 16 states and counties, mostly in the South, that had a long history...
NEWS
July 29, 2013
So Attorney General Eric Holder can't stand the fact that Texas is going to require voter ID ( "Congress must fix Voting Rights Act," July 29). I really don't see anything wrong with that. You need ID to buy cough medicine at the drug store, to get into an R rated movie, to get a driver's license, to get on an airplane etc. What Mr. Holder and the Obama administration can't stand is the fact that Texas is a Republican stronghold with a lot of electoral votes. The article talks about gerrymandering: "The state's plans for redrawing political boundaries after the 2010 census intentionally discriminated against minorities.
NEWS
July 29, 2013
As we approach the 48th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act, this historic civil rights legislation remains an essential protection against the discrimination that still threatens Americans' right to vote. Congress needs to move swiftly to restore the effectiveness of the VRA ("Voting rights ruling faces test," July 26). Now is the time to contact your member of Congress and tell him or her to repair the VRA before any more damage is done. In June, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a decision which gutted key components of the law. The decision in the case of Shelby County, Ala. v. Holder erased fundamental protections against racial discrimination in voting that have been effective for more than 40 years and opened the floodgates for a wave of attacks on voters.
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